Health Minister Ximena Garzón said Friday that cases of Covid-19 continue to decline in Ecuador as the country’s vaccination program shifts to school children and “boosting” the elderly.. “According to World Health Organization parameters, the virus has been controlled in Ecuador and it appears the disease is now entering its endemic stage,” she said.
“As we expand the vaccination program to children and begin giving booster shots to the elderly we must accept the fact that Covid-19 will not go away in the near future, and possibly for years, and that we must learn to live with it. Epidemiologists tell us that it will become similar to influenza and other respiratory viruses and continue to circulate at a low rate.”
The Health Ministry reported that pressure on both public and private hospitals from Covid cases has become manageable. As of November 4, the ministry said that of the 392 beds allotted to Covid patients, 111 were occupied. Of 78 Covid intensive care beds, 52 were filled. The Ministry added that the number of Covid wards in almost all hospitals have been reduced, with total beds available to virus patients less than 25 percent the number from February and March.
Among public hospitals, 50 to 59 percent of Covid-19 beds are currently occupied while between 10 and 20 percent of beds in private hospitals are in use.
Among hospitalized patients with Covid, Garzón says that 92 percent are unvaccinated. “We see some so-called ‘breakthrough’ cases of people who are vaccinated but these are in the minority,” she says. “Ecuador proves the point that vaccines work.”
She adds that the health ministry will monitor new cases following the recent holidays and says she expects a minor increase in cases. “We saw a small rise following the October holidays and we can expect that again,” she says.